Illa de l’Aire lighthouse
Imposing lighthouse situated on the highest point of the Illa de l’Aire, a small uninhabited island in the far south-east of Menorca.
This imposing lighthouse is situated on the highest point of Illa de l’Aire, a small uninhabited island (34 ha) lying just over a nautical mile offshore from Punta Prima in the far south-east of Menorca. This is the tallest lighthouse in Menorca, and its 38-m-high tower is painted with black and white bands. It stands 53 m above sea level and its lamp, which can be seen 18 nautical miles away, flashes every five seconds.
Built between 1857 and 1860, this was the tallest lighthouse in the Balearic Islands until the Moscarter lighthouse was built on Ibiza in 1977. Even so, it is still the tallest lighthouse made from stone and inside there is a spiral staircase with 165 steps. In 1911 its original oil-fired lamp was replaced by a kerosene lamp, which was in turn replaced in 1974 by an automatic gas lamp. This meant that from 1976 onwards there was no need for a live-in lighthouse-keeper. In 1995, the light was changed again, this time for a system using photovoltaic energy.
Illa de l’Aire surroundings
L’Illa de l’Aire is a coastal island with a fascinating biodiversity. Six of the seabirds that breed in the Balearic islands do so here, while in spring this island is used as a stop-over point for many migrant birds heading north from Africa to their breeding quarters in continental Europe. It also holds the densest population on Menorca of the Balearic lizard, which on this island is characteristically black. The island’s vegetation is low and consists largely of salt- and wind-resistant plants, although there are also a few bushes of Mediterranean buckthorn and planted tamarisks. The island is private and is not protected in any way.
How to get there
The only way to get to the island is by boat. From the island’s minute quay, a path leads to the lighthouse.
To avoid damaging the vegetation, try not to leave the path to the lighthouse.
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The lighthouses of Menorca
The lonely isolated locations of the majority of lighthouses, along with their singular silhouettes, have always meant that these unmistakeable symbols of coastal areas are much appreciated by many people. Their main raison d’être is to avoid accidents and tragedies and guarantee safe sailing.
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